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By E.G. Browne

Browne's well-known paintings, first released in 1902, used to be the basic textual content on literary heritage in Persian reviews for a few years. As an summary of Persian literature from the earliest occasions until eventually Firdawsi, it is still a important reference. Out of print for a while, it truly is now reissued as a library variation, in facsimile to trap the texture of the unique variation.

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The Shí‘ite rivals of the ‘Abbásids. The great religious and political rivals of the ‘Abbásids were the heterodox Fáṭimid anti-Caliphs of Egypt. These represented one of the two great divisions of the Shí‘a, or “Faction,” of ‘Alí—to wit, the “Sect of the Seven,” or Isma‘ílís, whose origin and history were fully discussed in the Prolegomena to this volume, together with those of the allied party of the Carmathians. H. 1502, though it always had a strong hold amongst the Persians. Until the Mongol Invasion in the thirteenth century the political power of the Isma‘ílís (represented in Persia by the so-called Assassins or Isma‘ílís of Alamút) was, however, as we shall presently see, much greater.

RETROSPECTIVE AND INTRODUCTORY II. THE GHAZNAWÍ PERIOD, UNTIL THE DEATH OF SULṬÁN MAḤMÚD III. THE EARLY SELJÚQ PERIOD, FROM THE RISE OF ṬUGHRIL BEG TILL THE DEATH OF MALIKSHÁH, INCLUDING THE ORIGIN OF THE ORDER OF THE ASSASSINS IV. THE LITERATURE OF THE EARLY SELJÚQ PERIOD: THE NIDHÁMU’L-MULK AND HIS CONTEMPORARIES V. THE PERIOD OF SANJAR AND HIS BROTHERS VI. THE FOUR GREAT POETS OF THE LATE TWELFTH CENTURY, ANWARÍ, KHÁQÁNÍ, NIDHÁMÍ OF GANJA, AND DHAHÍR OF FÁRYÁB VII. THE EMPIRE OF KHWÁRAZM AND THE MONGOL INVASION, UNTIL THE FALL OF BAGHDÁD AND THE EXTINCTION OF THE CALIPHATE VIII.

Wonderful stability of the Persian language. Change of taste and canons of criticism. Persian poetry, then, began to be composed more than a thousand years ago,11 under the earliest independent or semi-independent rulers who sprung up pari passu with the decline, decentralisation, and disintegration of the Caliphate of Baghdád. The Persian language has changed so little during this long period that, save for a few archaic words and spellings, the oldest verses extant hardly present any difficulty, or even uncouthness or unfamiliarity, to the Persian of to-day.

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